History

The Pye Centre is committed to continuing the legacy of food innovation, food production, and community connections established by Frank and Joyce Pye.

Our Roots

The Grand River Farm

The Grand River Farm was proudly owned and operated by Frank and Joyce Pye for more than 30 years in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Their farm was originally located off the Trans Labrador Highway, Route 500, where they began farming commercially back in the late 1980s.

In the late 2000s, the farm relocated to Mud Lake Road and continued to be a beloved asset to the community members and attracted many visitors every year. In addition to the quality fruits and vegetables that could be purchased at their market building, the Pyes offered attractions like hayrides through their pumpkin patch, which concluded with a marshmallow roast over an open bonfire. And, throughout the summer, folks could visit the strawberry patch to take part in a pick-your-own, or “u-pick,” strawberry setup.

In the community, the Pyes were integral in establishing the Community Outdoor Market and were members of the Lake Melville Agricultural Association for many years. They were unique in their dedication to building a sense of community around food production and had an ability to bring people and food together in a meaningful and organic way. Frank and Joyce Pye did all of this together right up until Frank’s passing in 2017 when the Grand River Farm ceased to operate.

In June 2019, after thorough consultations with Joyce Pye and key partners across all sectors, including government representatives, farmers, community non-profit organizations, Indigenous governments, and more, Memorial University, under the leadership of the Labrador Institute, announced that the former Grand River Farm would become the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems.

Through this acquisition of the farm, the Labrador Institute would continue the legacy of Frank and Joyce under a new identity that would forever bear the Pye name in acknowledgement of their important contributions to agriculture in the region, and, most importantly, their dedication to building a more sustainable and food secure Labrador.

The Land

The significance of the lands upon which The Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems is deeply important to the Labrador Institute. We are gathering and growing on the homelands of the Innu and Inuit of Labrador, and we recognize and honour their ancestral and continued ties to these lands and waters. Our work through the Pye Centre is carried out in partnership with the stewards of these lands, and is grounded in and guided by these important relationships.

The Labrador Institute’s Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems is uniquely positioned as one of the only University-led research and education farms located in a Northern region. The Pye Centre will provide a consistent presence in Labrador dedicated to strengthening agriculture in the region and improving access to fresh, local, and sustainable food for Labradorians. We are committed to continuing, in a way, what Frank and Joyce started all those years ago.

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